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Written by Cherie Snyder   
Wednesday, 13 August 2008 18:52


In June, 2008, the Appalachian Independent received one of 10 national “New Voices” grants awarded by J-Lab, the Institute for Interactive Journalism. J-Lab is based at American University (formerly at the University Of Maryland School Of Journalism).


To view the press release about the 2008 awards, see:  http://www.j-newvoices.org/site/story/nv08_release/



The 2008 grantees for the New Voices projects were selected from a record 312 applicants including the 2008 award winners. Projects were selected based on communication creativity; plans for effectively serving an identified community with fact-based information, dialogue, and civic participation; usefulness as a prototype for others; and prospects for sustaining the project after the New Voices funding has ended.


In the award announcement, Jan Schaffer, the Director of J-Lab which administers the New Voices program, commented “These winners want to build new avenues producing local news and new ways to invite citizens to share particular expertise.”


Each project receives $12,000 the first year and $5,000 the second year. A total of 40 community news start ups have been funded from 845 entries since 2005. Funding for the grants is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for the purpose of fostering an open exchange of journalistically sound information, news, and opinion within a geographic community or a community of interest.


According to New Voices Advisory Board member Peter Levine, director of CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, “New Voices has seeded some of the most exciting examples of journalism – and of active citizenship – in the United States today.”


The other projects funded by New Voices included:


Miami-Whitewater Valley Public Media Project

Cheryl Gibbs, Assistant Director, Journalism Program, Miami University
Oxford, OH

Partnering higher learning with public and commercial media, this project will create a regional news service for Southwest Ohio and East Central Indiana.


The Lexington Commons

Seungahn Nah, Assistant Professor of Community Communications, Dept. of Community and Leadership Development, University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY

A University of Kentucky partnership will build a digital neighborhood newspaper that will highlight Lexington news and build a sense of community across lines of race, ethnicity and income.


Grass Roots: Digital Journalism in the Nation’s Birthplace of Aviation

Joe Murray, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Kent State University
, OH

Kent State journalism professors will mentor student reporters and general aviators to cover Ohio's 166 public airports, 772 private airfields and 18,000 pilots.


Cool State Online

Jon Beaupre, News Director, University Times, California State University, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

California State University-Los Angeles journalism students and faculty will partner with community groups to launch "micro-bureaus" to cover the San Gabriel Valley's largely Asian and Latino community.


Green Jobs Philly

Paul Glover, Editor, GreenPlanners
, PA

A Philadelphia Web entrepreneur will spearhead a new Web site and quarterly publication to cover "green" jobs, grants, and economic initiatives by local businesses, universities and nonprofits.


Immigration: The View from Here

Kim Carroll Bosler, Development Director, KBUT Community Radio
Crested Butte, CO

KBUT-FM community radio in Crested Butte, Colorado, will explore the local impact of immigration, which has tripled in the last decade in rural Gunnison Valley.


Voices of Rural Native Alaska

Jane Nicholson, Contract Compliance Coordinator, Koahnic Broadcast Corporation
Anchorage, AK

Koahnic Broadcast Corp. will train people in remote Alaskan native villages to record interviews, first-person diaries and reports on issues that affect their daily lives.


Voices for Veterans

Dee Albritton, Executive Director, Fast Forward
Columbia, SC

A community technology center in Columbia, S.C., will create a social network and information Web site for returning veterans.


Family Life Behind Bars

Sandeep Junnarkar, Associate Professor, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
New York, NY

A CUNY Graduate School of Journalism professor and students will create a Web site for families of prisoners.



For more information on J-Labs and the New Voices projects, check out:  www.j-lab.org


Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 September 2008 07:29
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